we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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fleetmouse
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Re: we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Post by fleetmouse » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:05 am

Not sure how to proceed. I feel like I'd be arguing on three fronts.

Meta says that the mind can be preserved by copying - I've given a thought experiment as to why that's impossible, and he's ignored it.

met speaks of "transmogrification" - a move rather than a copy - but what is moved? Is it physical? Is it non-physical?

Miles, I accept that monism and panspychism or panexperientialism is one possibility, but I have some quibbles. First off, we have categories of consciousness and non-consciousness that seem reasonable - rocks don't behave as though they're conscious and seem to lack the structures to be so or do so. What is conscious appears to have structure and form commensurate with its level of consciousness. Finally, it seems like a lazy dodge, like explaining how a computer works by saying that it's made of computey stuff. Really? Well, why doesn't a beach compute? It's primarily silicon, like a microprocessor... could it be that form and function are more important than substance in this regard?

If you look at the history of thought on substances you will see for example the notion of the classical elements - fire, water and so forth. But we know now that these are emergent things - oxygen is involved in both fire and water, but is itself neither firey nor watery. So imputing basic, foundational status to something that seems and may well be emergent, even though we can't yet explain how, strikes me as wrongheaded. I mean, here we are in 2013 exploring how seemingly basic things like mass and dimension emerge. Saying that consciousness is basic seems to me like insisting you're in the basement when you may well be on the 12th floor up.

As to the idea of reductionism, which will no doubt come up when I say that consciousness may be emergent and composite rather than primary and simple - we don't necessarily say that something is unreal merely because it is explicable in terms of something else or that it has parts. No one says fire is unreal simply because it isn't one of the basic elements. No one says carbon is unreal because it's made of more basic particles. You'd have to be a mereological nihilist to say things like that - to believe that there are no wholes at all. I believe this is what Dennett refers to as "greedy reductionism". (I don't think Dennett explains it in terms of mereology, that's my own take on it)

Anyways, a those are few thoughts that have been banging around in my head. I've been thinking about this thread and I'm certainly not done with it!

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Re: we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Post by Metacrock » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:36 am

fleetmouse wrote:Not sure how to proceed. I feel like I'd be arguing on three fronts.

Meta says that the mind can be preserved by copying - I've given a thought experiment as to why that's impossible, and he's ignored it.
this is so tupuical of you. "I have an opinion that I'm right so therefore I am right." no I did answer it. you choose to believe that my answer is just twaddle so you choose to think its not an answer.

you did not answer my arguments. The evidence is factually in favor of consciousness as not tied to brain chemistry. that is over and over and over again in journal after journal a plethora of researchers find this to be the case. The property dualism and ohter non reductionist views just go on and on despite the drum beating year after year "scinece says it's just chemicals that's all it can becasue we found some so tha proves it" yet no one believes.

met speaks of "transmogrification" - a move rather than a copy - but what is moved? Is it physical? Is it non-physical?
Miles, I accept that monism and panspychism or panexperientialism is one possibility, but I have some quibbles. First off, we have categories of consciousness and non-consciousness that seem reasonable - rocks don't behave as though they're conscious and seem to lack the structures to be so or do so. What is conscious appears to have structure and form commensurate with its level of consciousness. Finally, it seems like a lazy dodge, like explaining how a computer works by saying that it's made of computey stuff. Really? Well, why doesn't a beach compute? It's primarily silicon, like a microprocessor... could it be that form and function are more important than substance in this regard?

that's hypocritical. you are so dogmatic about reductionism how you acknowledge another possibility? why wouldn't panpchsism support my view. I it does. I've argued that it does. It's very close to my view. they see conscoiusness as part of matter, I see it as behind matter.
If you look at the history of thought on substances you will see for example the notion of the classical elements - fire, water and so forth. But we know now that these are emergent things - oxygen is involved in both fire and water, but is itself neither firey nor watery. So imputing basic, foundational status to something that seems and may well be emergent, even though we can't yet explain how, strikes me as wrongheaded. I mean, here we are in 2013 exploring how seemingly basic things like mass and dimension emerge. Saying that consciousness is basic seems to me like insisting you're in the basement when you may well be on the 12th floor up.
emergent properties are opposed to reductionism. they are part of holism which is the nemesis of reduction.
As to the idea of reductionism, which will no doubt come up when I say that consciousness may be emergent and composite rather than primary and simple
Emergence is not reduction its' the opposite. they are enemies.

- we don't necessarily say that something is unreal merely because it is explicable in terms of something else or that it has parts. No one says fire is unreal simply because it isn't one of the basic elements. No one says carbon is unreal because it's made of more basic particles. You'd have to be a mereological nihilist to say things like that - to believe that there are no wholes at all. I believe this is what Dennett refers to as "greedy reductionism". (I don't think Dennett explains it in terms of mereology, that's my own take on it)
but your arguemnts imply it.
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Re: we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Post by Metacrock » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:48 am

Top down is part of holism and is opposed to reductionism. It's also opposed by reductionism and emergentism is part of top down.


Jacques Maritain Center: Michael J. Dodds, OP
http://www.nd.edu/~afreddos/papers/dodds.htm
This method first breaks down a phenomenon into simple parts that can be represented ... by a more holistic or "top down" view of everything from atoms to organisms. ..... Reductionism cannot admit top down causality because it never sees the ... (37) Complexity theory works in the opposite direction, explaining how highly ...

Michael J. Dodds, Maratain center

http://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/papers/dodds.htm
The common intuition behind all such thinking is that to find the real nature of things, one must break them down into their fundamental components. Real understanding begins only when one gets to the bottom of things, and somehow the things at the bottom explain everything else all the way up.

This "bottom up" thinking became the creed of modern science. The method of understanding things by breaking them down to their basic components became a metaphysics -- a conviction that the most basic stuff of the universe is also the most real and that the rules that govern its behavior can ultimately explain everything else. The method of reduction became the metaphysics of reductionism.

This philosophical view has been challenged in this century by discoveries coming from within science itself. In physics, chemistry and biology there is a growing conviction that characteristic activities of whole entities or systems in nature cannot be explained by the behavior of their parts. New properties emerge in the whole that are not found in the part, and in some cases the behavior of the part, far from explaining the whole, can itself be accounted for only in reference to the whole. This "top down" thinking is now seen by many as a necessary complement to the "bottom up" approach of modern science.

In this paper, I will briefly review these "bottom up" and "top down" ways of thinking. I will then argue that top down thinking is itself liable to "bottom out,"-- to slide into reductionism -- unless it can show that the "wholes" of which it speaks are anything more than conglomerations of parts. Finally, I will suggest that the Aristotelian understanding of substantial form can provide an ontological foundation for the whole, explaining its causality not from "bottom up" or "top down" but from "inside out."

emergence is part of top down

http://humbleapproach.templeton.org/Top_Down_Causation/
Top-down causation refers to the effects on components of organized systems that cannot be fully analyzed in terms of component-level behavior but instead requires reference to the higher-level system itself. A sweeping and fundamental concept, it is not only a philosophical idea but also a key ingredient in the emergence and functioning of complex systems, including life and the human brain. Together with bottom-up causation, top-down causation enables genuine complexity to emerge within specific levels of the hierarchy of complexity and causation. It also links the various levels of the hierarchy in a manner that undermines any simple-minded version of reductionism. A growing literature on complexity and emergence is providing an analysis of how this happens. Nevertheless, there are some who deny that it has any significance, or even reality.

The core issue is volitional agency. The topical focus of the discussion at the Royal Society amongst sixteen scientists and scholars has the potential to link scientific research with progress in philosophical and theological scholarship because of the fundamental importance of causation in daily living and in moral life. Symposium participants will consider the following specific sets of philosophical questions:

the kind of assumptions you make about consciousness, Fleet, are reductionist. They not in line with emergence.
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Re: we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Post by met » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:40 pm

Metacrock wrote:met speaks of "transmogrification" - a move rather than a copy - but what is moved? Is it physical? Is it non-physical?
Non-physical. I dunno what it is. I can give you theories and descriptions. How about a yogic one? The perusa (sp?) - the pure unattached perceiver, the unlimited potential for perception. Could be more than that, and most traditions attach more to it (except in the case of rare, transcendant personalities in the eastern view.) But that's close enough. The essential judeo-xian view of "the image of God" is similar.

To the extent the copy of Meta was a real person, not just a clever facsimile, some people would assume he would have to have this in him.

It would seem to be in itself simple & non-composite. But how much can we really say about the "structure & substance" of a non-materiel thing, sensibly? Anything we do say is obviously only analogical, .....
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
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Re: we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Post by mdsimpson92 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:03 pm

fleetmouse wrote: Miles, I accept that monism and panspychism or panexperientialism is one possibility, but I have some quibbles. First off, we have categories of consciousness and non-consciousness that seem reasonable - rocks don't behave as though they're conscious and seem to lack the structures to be so or do so. What is conscious appears to have structure and form commensurate with its level of consciousness. Finally, it seems like a lazy dodge, like explaining how a computer works by saying that it's made of computey stuff. Really? Well, why doesn't a beach compute? It's primarily silicon, like a microprocessor... could it be that form and function are more important than substance in this regard?
Well, one, yes I consider the idea of a rock being conscious to not work. What I was more considering was a kind of pre-mental property in everything. I am not promoting full blown panpsychism, but that everything has more of a non-physical or an even better term "pre-mental"quality to it. Your right in that I am promoting something closer to panexperientialism.

I will get back to this in a bit. Also, I feel like we're kind of triple teaming you here. I think I might try knocking Meta down a peg for fun. :mrgreen:
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Re: we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Post by Metacrock » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:39 am

Also, I feel like we're kind of triple teaming you here. I think I might try knocking Meta down a peg for fun.

you wish. :mrgreen:
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Re: we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Post by Metacrock » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:41 am

met wrote:
Metacrock wrote:met speaks of "transmogrification" - a move rather than a copy - but what is moved? Is it physical? Is it non-physical?
Non-physical. I dunno what it is. I can give you theories and descriptions. How about a yogic one? The perusa (sp?) - the pure unattached perceiver, the unlimited potential for perception. Could be more than that, and most traditions attach more to it (except in the case of rare, transcendant personalities in the eastern view.) But that's close enough. The essential judeo-xian view of "the image of God" is similar.

To the extent the copy of Meta was a real person, not just a clever facsimile, some people would assume he would have to have this in him.

It would seem to be in itself simple & non-composite. But how much can we really say about the "structure & substance" of a non-materiel thing, sensibly? Anything we do say is obviously only analogical, .....

Met, Fleet said that. I missed taking it out of my cc but he said it originally.
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Re: we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Post by fleetmouse » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:04 am

This is a terrific thread but I'm busy as hell and can't take the time to give your responses the followups they deserve. I should have more time after Easter (BTW happy Easter!)

Briefly, my thesis is as follows: There are two potential ways an afterlife could happen - moving and copying. if copying the self is possible, then moving the self is impossible, and vice versa. (I will flesh out this mutual incompatibility later)

Copying is impossible because of the thought experiment I outlined - briefly, if you can be copied, then it's logically possible that you already have, and are unaware of it. Perhaps your copy is in Japan, or Heaven, or Hell. Either way you're unaware of it. Your copy has a separate experientiality, a separate ego. It's an alter ego. If you are annihilated, it makes no difference to you, from a first-person perspective, that your copy's first-person perspective carries on. You are gone. So that's no afterlife at all - it's a different life "continuing" even if that alter ego has your memories.

So that would leave us with moving. I will argue that moving the self is also impossible, because of the interaction problem - the "essence" of the self to be moved, which would putatively include the ego, the center of attention, the first person perspective of you, would have to be non-physical, which invokes dualism and the interaction problem - and dualism simply isn't tenable.

At this point I am confident that, because of this problem, religion is simply wrong about there being an afterlife. I'm intellectually satisfied that this is true and I'm tempted to simply drop the mic forever, but I'll be back... I'll be back... [shakes tiny mouse fist angrily at you]

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Re: we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Post by met » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:54 am

.... in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
I don't think any mystical practitioner in any religious tradition ever thought the 'true self' was the ego or the personality. Or that that was what survived. (How could it be? Hell, some people even multiple personalities. ) And you seem to agree with that already, that the ego-self isn't real, so why are we arguing about the persistence of some transient and essentially non-existent thing?

( yes, Mag, tell me why.... ;) )

anyway, I don't know that 'self' is nonexistent but it's at least tenuous. I think it's is a rough concept that's really difficult to define carefully. When we start looking at it analytically, looking at the psychology of 'self' - and consider problems with memory, linguistics, self-reflection, cognition, et al - we find ourselves peering down a real rabbit-hole. "Self" is at best only a partially-comprehensible subject matter. How do we talk about it? Objectively or subjectively? (The opposing corollary to your allegorical tale of two Meta's is.... what if your consciousness survives death but without memory? Would that be 'you?' Consider the case of a person who survives a trauma but with total & incurable amnesia. Are they still 'themselves?' In a sense, no. Even if as a cultural norm we do our best to restore their former "identity.")

Then again, what if consciousness emerges into some much better and more blissful state. Would you even CARE if you could remember yourself - remember the old you?- IE once you've arrived at "samadi" or "mystical union" maybe all bets (about the 'self') will be off.... it won't matter anymore. :)
Last edited by met on Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Re: we gotta get this thing kick started again.

Post by met » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:58 am

Thx, fleet. happy Easter to u too! :twisted:
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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